Last week, we conducted a simple poll on Mountain Biking by 198 to get some feedback on what you guys were looking for in your next bike purchase. Some friends in the industry (manufacturers) were asking to get a candid look into our segment and the poll went incredibly well. Not only did we get fantastic results from your input, but there was a massive amount of conversation taking place (60+ comments were left) in the comments section that provided even more insight into the question at hand. Thank you for taking the time to participate in the comments and voting in the poll. Your feedback is greatly appreciated by all parties involved with this little questionnaire.
The question was a simple one: What are you going to buy next time around…a 29er or 26″ wheeled sled?
Your Next Bike Purchase Results - 29 or 26?
If you answered 29er for the poll above, we wanted to see exactly what kind of 29er you were looking at adding to your quiver. Here are those results…
Poll Results: Which 29er are you wanting to buy?
So after all of the clicking, typing and banter back and forth on the post, what did I think about the results? The following list is a slightly modified version that I sent out to the manufacturers that were bleeding for your input. I could have let this poll continue to run to get even more results, but as time and votes went on…I was seeing the trend flatten out considerably. As we got in even more votes…our results just continued to grow stronger. Because of that…we are able to conclude several things now.
I think the results of this survey would have been much different two years ago (or even a year). This really shows how far the 29er wheel size has come in a very short period of time. The 61/39 split is actually a little bit higher than I was expecting and that is great news for the 29er adopters out there.
The other surprising part is that most new 29er buyers would like to pick up a 4.5″ or higher full suspension bike and the 4″ or lower came in second. This is another result that I think has changed drastically. The 29er market really started in the SS rigid and HT segment, so this is showing that trail bike riders are starting to see the benefits of the larger wheel size. With larger travel 29ers making their way to the market based around the new Marzocchi 44 29er fork, the future of longer travel 29ers looks promising (ex. Niner W.F.O. 9).
If you check out the comments section (60+ comments), you can see that height is a serious concern for riders around 5’5″ and shorter. Most of these concerns stem without actually trying out a 29er bike. This may mean that 29er manufacturers need to design a frame that accommodates these riders and get them in the hands of smaller riders. I know it can work for them if done correctly, but there is an assumption out there that 29 inch wheels are reserved for the 6 foot and higher crowd. However, there is some validity to shorter riders in the 5’4″ and under category as the geometry and standover height would be a large concern.
29ers have spread to a lot more areas in the past year than in previous years. They are no longer that mythical wheel size that no one has seen. It will be interesting to see the 29 inch wheel size evolve as it is the fastest changing segment of the market right now.
I founded Bike198 back in 2007 and started riding bikes seriously in 1994. A lot has changed since that time and one of the greatest releases is still getting out on the bike and shredding trail or tearing up the road.